Phoenix facility boasts 91% success rate in helping veterans get back on their feet

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- A transitional housing facility in Phoenix has now opened up its second location, after seeing so much success in getting homeless veterans back on their feet, working again and becoming independent.

The James Walton House boasts a 91% success rate in getting veterans jobs and permanently off the streets. Its executive director says there are a lot of unique things about the place that makes it effective in getting veterans the help they need to turn their lives around, and it's not just one thing.

Veterans who live in the James Walton House have a lot of rules to follow, such as a strict curfew, as well as no drinking or drugs. In turn, however, they have free meals three times a day, a warm place to sleep, health insurance, help in getting a job, and counseling for PTSD.

"I had lost a lot of buddies over there, and even some to suicide," said Army veteran Joshua Gray, who says he's been sober for over a month.

The veterans have just three months to become independent, but they're getting all the help they could ask for, all at once. There are also other things that set the facility apart from others.

"It's very unique in the fact that we are all veterans," said the Director of Project Veterans Pride, Christeen Verchot. "Every gentleman that is working has been through the programs.

"Mentally, you could have gone from managing a group of 50, 60 people to all of a sudden looking for work," said the Vice President of Project Veterans Pride, Ray Gomez.

"For veterans, especially combat veterans, it makes us feel more comfortable being around other veterans. Civilians can't relate to some of the things we've been through," said Gray.

The housing facility is named after a West Point graduate, Lieutenant Colonel James Walton, who is known for his immense loyalty.

"He was sent to the Pentagon because of his rank, and he finally got up one day and said, 'I have to go back with my men,'" said Verchot. "So, he went back to Fallujah. He was killed with his men."

Veterans from all backgrounds are following Lt. Col. Walton's example, like one Army vet who now owns a local AC maintenance company, donating her staff and resources to help install a new unit.

"Just having friends of mine that have, you know, have watched them struggle," said Robin McCombs.

Project Veterans Pride